Philadelphia Union's fight to secure second place in the Eastern Conference comes to a head on Sunday afternoon as the club's faces off against rival New York City FC on Decision Day. The match up is set to begin with a synchronized kickoff at 3:45 p.m. ET with coverage beginning at 3 p.m. ET on PHL17 and PhiladelphiaUnion.com.
The Union come into Decision Day knowing that not only will they be participating in 2021 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, they will host their Round One contest at Subaru Park courtesy of Atlanta United FC's midweek draw at the New York Red Bulls. The Boys in Blue enter the regular season finale tied on points with Nashville SC for second place in the East but hold tiebreaker courtesy of 14 wins compared to Nashville's 12. NYCFC sits three points back of both sides with a win seeing the club leap over the Union in the standings courtesy of their 15th victory.
Philly comes into the matchup having unbeaten in nine of their last 10 contests after picking up a 2-0 win in the club's regular season home finale against FC Cincinnati. Daniel Gazdag continued his strong run of form with the opening goal in the 11th minute against the Ohio side. In the second half it was the homegrown duo of Jack McGlynn and Paxten Aaronson combining for the insurance goal that sent Subaru Park into a celebration.
Sunday's matchup marks the third time that the two sides have squared off in 2021 with each club getting a win so far. NYCFC took the first matchup between the two sides as the visitors took advantage of the Union's Concancaf Champions League focus to grab a 2-0 win in May. Jose "El Brujo" Martinez was sent off early in the contest but the Union stood tough to keep the score tight throughout. Again the two sides faced off in August with the Union grabbing a 1-0 victory behind a 67th minute goal from team captain Alejandro Bedoya.
It's been an up and down 2021 for New York City FC but they've found their form as of late. After a rough September that saw four losses and two draws plus a win, NYCFC has bounced back with a four-game unbeaten run and three straight wins. NYCFC talisman Taty Castellanos has been the main cause, leading the race for the Golden Boot with 18 goals this season. Over his last three matches, the dangerous forward has netted five goals of the club's 10 goals in wins over D.C. United, Chicago Fire FC and Inter Miami CF.